The Honourable Attorney-General and Minister for Communications;
Honourable Ministers;
The CEO of the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise;
Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
Permanent Secretaries;
Invited Guests.

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got an exciting round of announcements to make today in partnership with our friends from Singapore. I’m sure we were all keenly watching what’s been happening back in Singapore earlier this week. While this morning isn’t about world peace, history is still being made here in a different way, as we unveil a new programme -- DigitalFiji -- that is bringing the digital revolution to our country, our economy, and into the lives of our people like never before, putting essential services provided by my government at the fingertips of ordinary Fijians.

DigitalFiji is only one part of a wide-reaching partnership we’ve undertaken with the Singaporean Government. And this morning, we’re marking the first major milestone under this project with the launch of the DigitalFiji mobile application that offers the first two key services under the DigitalFiji umbrella; my-Feedback Fiji and “Directory-At-Gov”.

There’s no doubt we’ve got a big morning ahead of us, and I know we’re all keen to see the unveiling of the DigitalFiji App. We’ll get there – I promise. But I’d like to start this morning off by speaking on this larger partnership with Singapore, because – really – it’s much bigger than today’s launch. It has a lot of exciting potential that’s going to make a real difference in the lives of our people, and today is only the start of our work to transform the way Fijians engage with each other and with their Government.

When it came to finding the right partner for this project, The Singaporean Government was the obvious choice. Much of our own national ambition and vision echo the incredible progress Singapore has experienced over the last half century. Our nations are natural partners. Though we may be small island states, our leadership and our achievements are enormous, even when compared to much larger nations around the world. And the Singaporean experience, taking a nation, a small island nation, making it strong and unified, and shaping yourselves into an international powerhouse; that is an experience that speaks to every Fijian, and our united Fiji can and must achieve.

In Singapore’s own development journey, their Government took technology by the reigns, bringing their government services online in an innovative way that gave their citizens a direct line of communication with their government, and made services massively more accessible. In Fiji, as we welcome our ninth straight year of growth, and on the back of our massive investment in ICT infrastructure, we’ve put Fiji in a position to take that same bold step, and we will do so in a way that is tailored directly to the realities Fijians face in their everyday lives.

We are a nation of under one million people, and my Government has brought a style of leadership to Fiji that listens and learns from Fijians -- all Fijians, everywhere in the country. Fijians know that they can count on my Government to hear them out and respond to their concerns. And through DigitalFiji, Fijians will be able to access that style of leadership directly in the palm of their hands, and their voices can now affect change in their day to day lives more quickly and conveniently than ever before.

Because the reality is that more Fijians are spending more of their time on the internet and on their phones, and that is where government services need to be offered, that is where services need to be immediately available to our people, wherever they may be, and whenever they may need them.

We already have a proud record in bringing more and better government services to more Fijians. We’re offering government services in every corner of Fiji, we’re putting the right people in the right positions to deliver for our people, and through DigitalFiji, that agenda of lifting service delivery is being taken to an entirely new level.

It’s not often we see such important new announcements in what is really only the first phase of this project, but that should give some sense of how significant this project will grow to become, and we do indeed have more very exciting announcements in the pipeline in the months ahead. And as we modernise the way Fijians can interact with and access information on government services and personnel, we expect every permanent secretary and every civil servant to make sure the most up-to-date information is available in real-time, that it is readily available and accurate for our people. That is what all of us owe every Fijian in our strong, healthy and inclusive democracy.

I very much look forward to all this partnership has to offer. Soon, we’ll hear more from Our Honourable AG and his team about DigitalFiji and the DigitalFiji App,

Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you.